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Laufey

Member Since 30 Apr 2000
Offline Last Active Sep 01 2020 02:38 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Throne of Cards 82

01 September 2020 - 02:39 PM

So, do you remember when someone commented on your AO3, saying that this place was back up?

 

I forgot I use a different user-name there.

 

It was me. :D

Aha, that was you! :) Thanks for letting me know. Now let's hope the spambots doesn't find the place again, I had to purge dozens of them. 


In Topic: Throne of Cards 82

24 August 2020 - 05:56 PM

 

 

Aha, the Attic is back online! Have a fresh chapter to celebrate with. 

 

 

Whatever happened to it, was certainly strange to suddenly have it just wiped away.

 

I hope it sticks around now. Also, I hope the spambots think it's still dead. 

 

Yes, this made sense. This particular technique wasn’t something every illithid could master, but Mithykyl’s colony was quite old. Its Elder Brain had absorbed many thousands of its children upon death, all their knowledge and skills returning home to be used again as was best for the colony. Mithykyl’s hatching had been an experiment of sorts, the larvae that would eventually grow into Mithykyl had been deposited in the ear canal of a human with actual psionic powers of its own. As that larvae grew and feasted, it learned what it could, mixing and mingling knowledge. Humans were no match for illithid in raw power of course, but knowledge was always, always useful. Now it was time to apply that knowledge on a larger scale than before. The tunnels in this part of Sendai’s enclave were fairly narrow, twisting and turning back and forth, the perfect place for an ambush. Several lesser illithid had been sent ahead, a necessary sacrifice in order to draw attention. Now there were sounds of combat some distance ahead, and the presence of several non-illithid minds. Seven. Hmm. An even number would have been better, easier to cope with, but it couldn’t be helped. Mithykyl reached out carefully, so carefully, to taste the surface eddies and currents of those seven minds while they were otherwise distracted. Nothing invasive enough to be noticed, nothing as crude and basic as a psionic blast of pain. This was a delicate procedure, and one that needed to be carried out simultaneously on several minds at once at that. Still, eventually the matrix had been fully formed, and Mithykyl was prepared for transfer. There. Install, and…reboot.

 

 

Are they going to repeat the trick from the Underdark with pouring some strange Rashemani concoction on the mind flayers?

Sorry, they're all out of that stuff. :) 

 

 

Before she could finish that thought, she looked into the assassin’s black eyes and saw them light up in a way that was simultaneously alien and oddly familiar. He was smiling too, a bright, relieved smile, and while the emotion itself wasn’t out of place given they’d just survived a fight to the death, that display of it seemed strangely obvious for him. “Hey, are you alright?” She asked and then she gave a muffled squeak as the assassin launched himself at her like a pouncing cat, wrapping her tightly in her arms and kissing her ardently. For a few seconds her mind just sparkled and fizzled with utter, utter shock and astonishment, and then she managed to push him away enough to give him an outraged glare.

 

 

Okay, I wasn't expecting that. If this is Sendai's plan to delay them, I guess it succeeded in that at least.

 

Absolutely! 

 

Imoen had got to her feet by now and was growling quietly. “I will slaughter whoever did this and DRINK THEIR BLOOD FROM THEIR OWN SKULLS! GIVE ME MY SWORD!” She staggered over to Sarevok with a grin of unholy glee on her face and tried in vain to yank his huge sword off his back. Sarevok barely seemed to notice and just swatted her away. She landed on the floor with an outraged shriek. Next to her, Viconia sat up, blinked and patted the pink-haired rogue on the head with a gentle smile.

 

“Not to worry, little Imoen! Minsc knows how to do sparkly feelgood magic now and will fix you up right away!”

 

 

Minsc as a healer would just frighten me. Though he can do some basic healing spells... I never could actually imagine him knowing what the hell to do with it.

 

I know, right? I can easily imagine him fusing all the patient's organs together. 

 


“Maybe I should just get us back to the pocket plane?” Rini suggested. “I’ve got powers in there that I don’t have here, maybe I can sort you all out.”

 

“If you can’t, we’ll have wasted precious time though,” Sarevok said. “There is no telling what Sendai is doing right now.”

 

 

If she wasn't so scared, she'd be laughing her ass off.

Pretty much. I know I was. :) 

 

 

Imoen, meanwhile, was having some difficulties of her own. As amazing as it was to be able to not just lift but to swing Sarevok’s great sword, she wasn’t really used to wielding it properly. Right now, she was trying to hold off a swarm of skeletons and fire elementals that were being summoned into a dangerous position behind the group. Dekaras was standing close by, still looking rather out of it. He had summoned a few skeletons of his own and was enthusiastically egging them on, but he kept wanting to make things explode and Edwin kept having to bodily grab him to keep him from landing a Fireball too close for comfort. As for Edwin, he was probably trying his best, but he really had no idea about how to fight as a rogue. He’d managed to find and draw a long dagger but was holding it rather awkwardly and hadn’t really managed to do more than scratch his opponents.

 

 

I

t feels as if they're doing much better than they should be. :) somehow!

They're alive at least, that's something. 

 

 

“Fireball?” Dekaras croaked under him.

 

“Not NOW!” Edwin hissed, struggling to get to his feet and pull his father along by the collar while also attempting to keep the elementals at bay. He waved the dagger at them in what he hoped was a suitably intimidating manner, but he knew that would only work for so long. But I cannot fault him for currently having a one-track mind, Gods know what it must feel like to suddenly be able to access magic after so long…

 

 

Ironic, I seem to remember it always being the right time to Fireball as far as Edwin was concerned!

But only when *he* is the one doing it!

 

 


The cord rapidly retracted itself back into the handle, just the way it was designed to do. The hook end was firmly attached in the ceiling. The Edwin end was not firmly attached to anything, and so he was pulled rapidly into the air, screaming bloody murder as he went. Since he was still holding onto Dekaras, he was pulled along as well, though with greater equanimity than Edwin felt. In fact, he seemed to be laughing, which Edwin felt was a callous disregard for their current predicament. Eventually, they came to a halt, just beneath the cavern ceiling and entirely too high above the ground for Edwin’s comfort. Why, if I am inside his body, didn’t I get his head for heights? That is just plain unfair! Clearly jumping down was not an option, and he only hoped that they wouldn’t fall and end up splattered all over the ground. He was desperately clutching the mage’s robe with one hand, and the handle of the accursed grappling hook with the other, and he felt as if both his arms were about to be torn out their sockets at any moment. Far, far beneath them, the chaotic battle still raged.

 

 

Edwin makes a better Batman than Ben Affleck, that's for sure.

I think his landing might be a little less graceful though. 

 


“Hold on, Little Rini!” That was Minsc, his bright and beaming smile looking very out of place on Viconia’s face. “Minsc has the healing thing all figured out now, and Boo agrees! Minsc will heal the Evil One who is Many, and Boo says we can in-terr-gate her after. Now watch, the glowy hand will do it!” Slender, dark fingers reached out for the trembling Sendai’s brow, just touching. There was a flash of light, and the Drow Bhaalspawn collapsed in a heap, her body rapidly dissolving into a cloud of glittering dust. “Oh,” Minsc said, frowning. “Or maybe it was the other glowy hand spell, Boo says.”

 

 

Well, at least it was a mercifully easy exit.

 

One Bhaalspawn down...a few more to go!

 

 


In Topic: Amber&emerald: Chapter 49

09 December 2019 - 05:39 PM

 

 

 

"Surprised you? Why is that?". "Last time I met my...My father, he made it clear that he meant to disinherit me and I thought he had made good to his word". Bylanna blinked, "Truly? But there is no written proof that he meant to cut you off of his legacy. Quite the contrary, your father’s will states clearly that you are his only lawful heir". He was stunned, "What? But he...He always said that I was worth less than nothing. Why...".

As I understand it, this sort of thing is actually pretty common. Most people don't like to think about their eventual death too much so they talk about their inheritance they may not get around to making an actual will. 

 

 

Margaret Dawn smiled and took his hand in hers, "Isn’t it a good thing, love? It means that deep down, despite everything, he cared about you". "Or maybe he was simply too busy drinking himself unconscious to actually bother to go to the court and change his will", Edwin muttered under his breath, earning himself a glare from the Ilmatari.

I hope it's the former, but I honestly agree with Edwin on this one. 

 

The young Helmite took the quill and lowered it, but suddenly he stopped, unsure, "Maybe I should talk to my sister first...She is entitled to half of it". "Not according to the will", Bylanna reminded him, impatience slipping into her voice, "You are free to come to my office again and make a lawful donation to your sister if that’s what you want, but for now, you are the only heir, so you are the one who must sign this document". He hesitated and turned to his betrothed, "Meg?".

 

Male inheritance only I suppose? But Anomen is a good guy, and I'm sure he'll take care that his sister isn't left without. 

 

He bought...Ah, I mean, he was granted a license to practice magic within the city borders five months ago, his name is Darcin Cole". "Where can we find him?", the young guard asked. "He used to live in the Bridge District, with the tanner, but now we...", the wizard gulped, "We seem to have lost track of him, heh. It happens sometimes, they should come and tell us their new address, but some of them forget about it, you know how it goes".

 

Ah, Darcin Cole! I like what you did here, I always wondered about that in game, since he's referred to but you never get to actually meet him. It makes me think the Skindancer quest might have originally been intended to carry on. I also like you tying it together with Corneil and Mekrath. 

 

They followed the corridor to an ascending staircase, but before entering the chamber at the end of it, Meg sent Imoen to scout ahead. The pink-haired thief came back after a couple of moments, "There’s half a dozen Mephits in there, going from fire-type to dust-type and I’ve also seen a trap in the floor. I can’t disarm it as long as the little buggers are alive, though". "No problem. Edwin, can you cast a “Fireball” at them, please?".

 

And so you just made his day. :) 

 

Margaret Dawn whispered her instructions into Anomen’s ear, so he silently moved forward and with a quick gesture, he slammed his fist on Mekrath’s spine, shattering the first and the second vertebra and causing the wizard to lose control of his limbs and fall like a sack of potatoes on the cold floor.

Ouch! Yep that'll take care of him. 

 

Darcin tried to shake his head, but all he achieved was to have it twitching slightly, "Don’t say a word, you idiot! Look at the robes of this one, she’s an Ilmatari: she would never do something so cruel, it’s just a bluff!". Meg nodded, "Oh, I am an Ilmatari, yes. But just for the record, I’m also a Bhaalspawn and you know what they say about my kin, no? The cruelty, the love for violence, the thirst for blood...Actually, I am feeling a bit thirsty right now", she added, licking her lips with a crocodile-like smile.

 

"All right, I’ll tell you everything, but spare me!", Mekrath shouted, terrified, "The people we captured are in the storage room, we keep them caged, but they’re still unharmed: the Rune wanted them alive, you see...". "The Rune?". He uselessly tried to nod, "Yes, the Twisted Rune: they have a lair in a different plane, but it can be accessed from a house in the Bridge District.

 

Aaaah, so we're off to the Rune next then? Again, I enjoy you tying these sidequests together. 

 

 


In Topic: Amber&emerald: Chapter 48

08 December 2019 - 07:17 PM

 

 

"So what? Finders keepers and I found it! C’mon, gimme my hammie", she tried to take it, but he was quick to keep it out of her reach, a mischievous grin curving his lips. "Sorry, but I took it up first, so now it’s mine". "Not fair! Meeeeeg! Your boyfriend is being mean to me!", the little thief whined dramatically, pointing an accusing finger towards the Helmite.

Well, he has a point! I'm sure you can find a nice, pink weapon of your own. :) 

 

Abbil?, Meg thought, That must be a Drow male...And I think I know this voice. As if to confirm her suspicions, the first speaker snapped, "The Hells I calm down, Drizzt! It’s easy for you, it’s not one of your scimitars that’s gone lost! It’s my thrice-cursed hammer!". A wide smile curving her lips, the Ilmatari walked into the clearing, "Hello Drizzt, it’s good to see you again!".

How did he even manage to lose it I wonder? It's pretty big after all. 

 

 

Solaufein hesitantly stepped forward, "Venduì, Drizzt". "Venduì, Solaufein. I am glad to meet a follower of Lady Silverhair", the ranger said in Common and then the two of them spoke for a while in their native language, the musical tones of their voices making a weird contrast with the harshness of the idiom.

 

Anomen shot a glance at his betrothed, "Do you know what they are saying, love?". "Only in broad outline: it seems like there is a secret village of Drow devoted to Eilistraee somewhere in the North and Drizzt has offered to lead Solaufein there after the mission is over". "That is good news: we won’t have to worry about his safety later and he will have a new home". "True. Ilmater be praised".

That's nice, I'm glad he'll have some peace at last. 

 

Finally, Drizzt shook hands with his kinsman and turned to the Ilmatari, "Say, during your travel, have you seen a, uh, a pink hammer?". "Damn you to the Nine Hells, Drizzt, it’s not pink! It’s RED! Red, I tell you!", the Dwarf, Bruenor, shouted, his cheeks flushing scarlet as his companions snickered. "Oh, I don’t know, Bruenor", a woman in leathers said, eyes sparkling with laughter, "Since Cirine cast that spell on it, it does have a certain pink shine...".

 

Nope, definitely pink. 

 

Before they could reach the Slums, though, a messenger approached them, carrying a sealed scroll and his eyes fixed on Anomen, "Hello, m’lord". The Helmite smiled at him, "Ah, hello, Terl, it’s good to see you again. Why so glum?". Terl handed him the scroll, "I’ve a letter for you and it’s nothing good...It’s from magistrate Bylanna Ianulin".

 

Letters from Terl are *never* good news. 

 

 

She hugged him and stroked his hair gently, "I’m sorry". The Helmite held her to his chest, taking comfort in her closeness as tears flowed on his cheeks, tears that no-one would have expected to see, considering how badly the old drunkard had always treated him. After a long moment, he dried his face and sighed, "I...Forgive me, I didn’t mean to...". "Shush, no need to apologize.

 

I think it does make a lot of sense that he'd react like this. As abusive as he was, I'm sure there's a part of Anomen that still longed for his love even though he knew he wouldn't get it. 

 

"Good to hear", she bit her lower lip, turning to the druidess, "What about the Harpers? Would they help?". "I...", Jaheira hesitated, "I don’t know, child. Surely a Vampire as powerful and evil as Bodhi is a threat to the Balance, but...". "But I am a Bhaalspawn, so I am a threat to the Balance as well", her charge concluded. "I didn’t mean that! It’s just...If we want to get something out of them, I will have to meet them on my own. I am one of them, they will listen to me".

 

I hope so, but I don't feel overly optimistic. 

 

Meg sighed, "Okay, then. As soon as Anomen’s problem has been solved, we will split up: Anomen, Minsc, Boo and Aerie will go to the Order headquarters, you will go to the Harper base and Edwin, Immy, Yoshimo, Solaufein and I will talk to Linvail. Oh, wait: there’s the Church of Helm too, they could help! Right, love?", she asked Anomen. "Truth be told, my lady, the members of the Church are mostly priests, not warriors...". "Even better: priests have spells against the undead, so their help would be extremely useful.

Turn Undead is the best thing to use there, even better if you just happen to be Protected from Undead at the time. 

 

Rats, why am I feeling so guilty about a scrap of parchment? It’s not like I’m cheating on him or anything, I’m just...It’s just a note about my mace, nothing else, she thought, but a part of her kept on ruminating over the fact that it was written in Common, instead of Elvish. It’s nearly as if...No, that’s just crazy. He probably just meant to sell the mace to a smuggler, like he did with the stuff we had before our capture and the note would help him get more gold for it, that’s all.

 

Hm, so Irenicus is trying to use her to take out Bodhi is he? Interesting idea!

 

"Nobody could blame you for that", the young woman said, sitting down beside him, "He was a monster, he treated you worse than dirt and made your childhood a living nightmare: it’s perfectly normal to be happy at the idea of him finally being out of your life for good". "But...What if Helm thinks me unworthy because of it? I mean...Monster or not, he was still my father".

 

You can't help your feelings though, only your actions. 

 

 


In Topic: Throne Of Cards 81

07 December 2019 - 10:42 AM

 


How do we define what makes a person uniquely them? Their body? Their mind, their knowledge or skills? Something else? Is there a grey area where Self ends and Other begins?

 

Excerpt from ‘Ruminations Of A Master Bard’

 

 

Sounds like one of those questions, the answer to which is found at the bottom of your third glass of wine.

 

Or whiskey! 


 

“Not this again. I’m not a warrior at all and you know it! Besides, Vadrak isn’t ranting at me, are you Vadrak?”

 

Dekaras gave Zaerini a level look that suddenly made her feel as if she were approximately three feet tall and had a runny nose to boot.

 

 

Yeah, I would actually prefer him ranting than be silent and stare.

Edwin could have told her it's when he goes quiet on you that you should really worry. 

 

 

“Eh? What? No, no, I don’t think so. Who’s Sendai? Why would I kill her? And where did my hat go?”

 

“Do not fret, Master,” Dekaras interrupted. “In fact, why not leave this trifling matter to your trusted minions? I’m certain you have weightier matters to contend with.”

 

 

I suspect Dekaras does not want to push their luck with such unreliable assistance. It certainly can't be the glory of scoring the kill themselves motivating this. 

That's it exactly. Nevaziah is very powerful, but he's not exactly stable. 

 

 

“Well, she seemed to be alone, and it wasn’t that large of a room. I doubt I missed anybody else. I do however agree with you, it could well mean she’s a powerful enough subordinate that she needs no guards.”

 

“Could she be Sendai herself?” Imoen asked.

 

 

Guarding a door? Not your best guess, Imoen.

Well you never know! But no, we're not quite at the endboss yet...

 

 

“You claim to know me,” She responded, stepping closer. “I’m afraid I can’t say the same. Are you Sendai?”

 

The woman chuckled, a dry, rasping sound like a clutter of dead leaves blown across the stone floor of a tomb and she turned towards the group. “An excellent question,” She said. “I could have been, but no. You may refer to me as Diyatha, handmaiden to Her Holiness Mistress Sendai.”

 

 

Well, she seems to have taken a turn for worse.

And there's a reason for it...

 



 

She felt the powerful magical field of this spell narrowly pass her by, but it did strike Edwin and Dekaras who had been on her right side. Both men shot into the air as quickly as if they’d been falling from a great height and slammed into the ceiling where they stuck as if they’d been glued onto it. It was kind of hard to tell from this distance, but they both looked a little dazed from the impact. At least they’d narrowly avoided being impaled on the many stalactites lining the ceiling.

 

“Gravity reversal!” Edwin shouted as he desperately tried and failed to return to the ground. “We won’t get down until it wears off!”

 

 

Oooh, I want that spell in a game, any game. And I want to use it in an outdoor areas.

It is an actual DnD spell! Not sure if it's still there in the latest edition, but when I found the Undermaster spell, Gravity Reversal was one of the innate abilities it grants you and of course I knew I had to use that. 

 

 


She had a few seconds to spare as one of the elementals was still facing Minsc and the second was chasing after Viconia and Imoen. It was enough for a quick spell. Part of floor was covered with thick globules of slippery grease and Minsc’s golem skidded across it, thick arms flailing comically until it smashed into the wall and fell to the ground with a crash that made the floor shake once again. It was enough for the berserker to replace his sword with a spare weapon, an enchanted Warhammer sturdy enough to pulverize the elemental’s head until it resembled nothing so much as broken pottery. The second elemental was chasing Imoen who was nimbly skipping and vaulting across the floor, avoiding large fists and chaotic boulders. This gave Viconia enough time to cast a couple of spells of her own. The Drow priestess seemed to grow in stature, a nimbus of flickering shadows surrounding her as she called upon the might of her goddess. Her mace struck the second elemental, again and again, with strength and skill far exceeding her normal limits, and the large creature staggered backwards, tiny cracks beginning to form on its surface. It was still on the move though, and still a clear threat. However, it hadn’t noticed what was happening behind it. Having clearly decided that he wouldn’t be able to get a clear shot at Diyatha through her protections, Dekaras had been painstakingly working at climbing up, or rather down, one of the large stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Now he was close enough that he could launch himself at the elemental’s head where he managed to prevent himself from being dragged into the air again by wrapping his legs around what little neck it had. He was digging his fingers hard into the glowing red eye sockets, and the elemental screamed, a creaking inhuman groan. It swung its large fists blindly, trying to dislodge its foe but Imoen took a flying leap of her own and clutched its arm. While she wasn’t very heavy, it was enough to weigh it down. All these distractions gave Viconia the opportunity for the perfect blow, straight into the cracks already formed. The elemental fell apart into two halves and moved no more. With a brief curse the assassin floated into the air again as the broken elemental wasn’t heavy enough to anchor him any longer, and only Imoen clinging onto his waist with both arms was enough to keep him from going all the way to the ceiling. At least this had the lucky side effect of dragging both of them just high enough up that they were out of reach of the spinning boulders. Rini wasn’t so lucky, but now that the elementals were out of the way it was easier to dodge the boulders than it had been, and that gave her some time to attack. She wasn’t enough of an archer that she fancied her chances of hitting Diyatha through the complicated lattice of the stone cage, but magic missiles were quick enough to cast and would find their way through the obstacles. She harassed the other woman as much as she could to keep her from casting further spells and to give her friends time to go on the offensive. Edwin had been keeping his own barrage up, alternating fire, ice and pure force, and it was finally beginning to have an effect. The stone cage was buckling, bending, and finally broke.

 

 

I just imagined that gravity spell never going off, and Imoen dragging Dekaras along everywhere tied to a string, like a balloon.

Ha ha, I think Imoen wouldn't mind that at all!

 

 

“Ah, I know this!” Edwin eagerly interrupted. “I remember studying it in the past. It is the process by which an illithid tadpole attaches itself to a live victim, gradually eating away at its brain matter and replacing it until a fully formed illithid is formed from the victim. Curiously enough, they may also absorb the memories of the host, and even share them with the colony and the Elder Brain. It…” He suddenly fell silent as he realized the implications. “Oh.”

 

“Yeah,” Rini said, not quite able to sound as encouraging as she’d hoped. “That means there are mindflayers up ahead. Plus, since that thing got away, they now already know all Diyatha saw of us, and probably so does Sendai. This day just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?”

 

 

If Sendai had to be content with the illithid devouring her second in command, then I question who's actually in control here. Sendai might not even be the end boss in this dungeon. What a twist! :)

Ah, very nice to have Cards back agai

 

Thanks! As for who's in control and what it was all about...you'll find out soon enough. This wasn't a random thing, but a part of my plan.

 

 

 


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